There are many interesting animals at Paramaribo Zoo. My favorite one was the otter. He is called a watradagu in Surinamese. The otter has a light brown coat of fur, tiny ears, huge black eyes, a long tail, and duck-like flippers. His nose is little with long whiskers. I learned that these otters all have unique patterns on their white chests that are like fingerprints. This otter looked very lonely and sad. He doesn’t have a companion because the zoo people cannot take an otter from the wild. They have to wait to get an otter from another zoo that has already been born into captivity.
· The Suriname Toad, also known as the “Pica Pica”, has some seemingly different reproductive practices. Rather than lay eggs and leave them, she raises her tadpoles in the squishy skin of her back to mini toad size. She also doesn’t have a tongue or teeth.
· Due to the preservation of Suriname’s tropical rain forest, the nation’s wildlife flourishes. However, as of 2001, 10 of the country’s 180 mammal species and 2 of its 603 bird species are endangered. 33 types of plants are also endangered. Endangered species in Suriname include the tundra peregrine falcon, five species of turtle (South American river, green sea, hawksbill, olive ridley, and leatherback), the Caribbean manatee, and the spectacled caiman. – www.nationsencyclopedia.com
· The flower bouquets here are very unique looking. And yes, those are real flowers!
Suriname is rumored to have had the highest per capita “consumption” of fireworks in the world. Pyromaniacs begin shooting off “bombel” (fireworks) a few days before Christmas and the late night explosions continue well into the first month of the New Year. On New Year’s Eve the businesses and stores in downtown Paramaribo shoot off long rows of firecrackers call “pagara”.
Suriname is also rumored to house the most cars per capita in the entire world. The average middle income family owns three or more vehicles. Cars are also often left abandoned on the side of a rural road or amidst the jungle vines that inhibit undeveloped landscapes.
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